Wessex and England
Robert Sewell
This page was set up by Robert J. Sewell in March 2002 to show the descent of the Saxon Kings of pre-conquest Wessex and England. 
A great deal of information and encouragement has been provided by Sewell V. Sample.
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The information presented here has been taken from the following sources:
World Book Millenium 2000 Deluxe Edition, © 1999 World Book Inc., © IBM Corp.
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopædia 99, © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation
Norman F. Cantor (ed.): The Encyclopædia of the Middle Ages, New York, 1999
Berhard Grun: The Timetables of History, New York, 1991
George Andrews Moriarty: The Plantagenet Ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa,

Mormon Pioneer Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1985.
Richard Humble:  The Saxon Kings, London, 1980
Kenneth M. Setton (ed.):  The Age of Chivalry, National Geographic Society, 1969
Sir Frank M. Stenton:  Anglo-Saxon England, 2nd Editon, Oxford, 1947
The Book of History (18 Volumes), London, 1914
Richard Thomson:  An Historical Essay on the Magna Charta of King John (London, 1829)
Mediæval History Guide, http://historymedren.about.com/index.htm
Brian Tompsett, Royal Genealogical Data, http://www.dcs.hull.ac.uk/public/genealogy/royal/
Encyclopædia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/ (before they reverted to a pay service)
Britannia.com's British History Page, http://www.britannia.com/history/
The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, http://britannia.com/history/docs/asintro2.html
                               or http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/Anglo/

Legendary Beginnings

    The ancient Kings of Scotland claimed a legendary antiquity beginning with Gaythelos, son of a King of Greece who went to Egypt during the time of Moses where he married a daughter of the Pharaoh. Not to be outdone, the Kings of Wessex developed a legendary ancestry beginning with the Biblical Adam and Eve.  This legendary genealogy is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a collection of documents commissioned by Alfred the Great in the late 9th century.

    The entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year A.D. 854 relates the descent of Æthelwulf, Alfred the Great's father:

"And Æthelwulf was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Ealhmund, Ealhmund of Eafa, Eafa of Eoppa, Eoppa of Ingild; Ingild was the brother of Ina, king of the West-Saxons, who held that kingdom thirty-seven winters, and afterwards went to St. Peter, where he died.  And they were the sons of Cenred, Cenred of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Ceawlin, Ceawlin of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic, Cerdic of Elesa, Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis, Gewis of Wig, Wig of Freawine, Freawine of Frithugar, Frithugar of Brond, Brond of Balday, Balday of Woden, Woden of Frithuwald, Frithuwald of Freawine, Freawine of Frithuwualf, Frithuwulf of Finn, Finn of Godwulf, Godwulf of Great, Great of Taetwa, Taetwa of Beaw, Beaw of Sceldwa, Sceldwa of Heremod, Heremod of Itermon, Itermon of Hathra, Hathra of Hwala, Hwala of Bedwig, Bedwig of Sceaf; that is, the son of Noah, who was born in Noah's ark: Laznech, Methusalem, Enoh, Jared, Malalahel, Cainion, Enos, Seth, Adam the first man, and our Father, that is, Christ.  Amen."

. . . Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 854


    The pre-Christian Kings of Wessex claimed a descent that originated with King Priam of Troy through the Viking god Thór.  This line, from Snorri Sturluson's Icelandic Prose Edda, proceeds:

"Priam, High King of Troy;   Tróán;   Thór;   Lóridi;   Einridi,   Vingethor,   Vingerner,   Móda;   Magi; Seskef;   Bedwig;  .  .  .  "  This line then proceeds as for the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle from Bedwig, son of Sceaf who was born in Noah's ark.  It is interesting to note that although the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gave the kings a Christian origin, it includes the Norse god Woden or Odin who married the god Frigg or Frígídá.

    However, as with the Scots, history knows nothing of this prior to about 500 AD, at which point the name of Cerdic emerges from the mists of legend as a Saxon invader who established himself as King of Wessex.  Thus, it is with Cerdic that we will begin this genealogical record.  This is not a list of kings.  For the Kings of Wessex from Cerdic to Ælfred the Great, click on Kings of Wessex.

Generation One
Cerdic, King of Wessex
Died in 534
    Cerdic and his son Cynric landed in the area of Southhampton in 495 A.D., and then moved north into what is now Hampshire and Wiltshire to found The Kingdom of the West Saxons or Wessex. Cerdic met great resistance from the last of the Romano-Britons under a shadowy leader who lays as good a claim as any to having been the "real" King Arthur.  Cerdic was crowned as the 1st King of West Saxons at Winchester 532, although some say he reigned from 519 on. The times were very chaotic, and although leaders such as Cerdic are historical figures, much of the actual history is shrouded in legend.

Cerdic had the following sons:


Generation Two
Cynric, King of Wessex
Died in 560
     Cynric reigned from 534 to 560.  He defeated the Romano-Britons at Salisbury in 552.  Cynric faced competition from Stuf and Wihtgar, who came to Wessex in 514 and were said to be "nefa" of Cerdic and Cynric.  The term "nefa" means both nephew and grandson, and it has been suggested that Stuf and Wihtgar were father and son; possibly a son and grandson of Cerdic's sister and a Jutish nobleman. In 534, Cynric gave  the Isle of Wight to Stuf and Wihtgar.

Cynric had the following sons:


Generation Three
Ceawlin, King of Wessex
Died in 593
     Ceawlin reigned from 560 to 592 at which time he was deposed by his nephew Ceola.  He captured Gloucester and Bath from the Britons in 577.  Although Ceawlin is a historical figure, the facts are far from clear.  His brothers, Cutha and Cuthwulf appear to have led some or all the West Saxons between 568 and 584.
Ceawlin had the following sons:

Generation Four
Cuthwine, an under ruler in Wessex, died in 584, who had the following sons:
  • Cynebald
  • Cuthwulf


Generation Five
Cuthwulf, an under ruler in Wessex who had a son:

  • Ceolwold


Generation Six
Ceolwold, an under ruler who had a son:

  • Cenred
Anglo-Saxon Invasion
Angles, Saxons and Jutes
invading Britain by sea

Generation Seven
Cenred, an under ruler in Sommerset who acceded in 694, and who had the following children:

Generation Eight
Ingild (died in 718) who had a son:
  • Eoppa


Generation Nine
Eoppa who had a son:

  • Eaba
Stockaded Homestead
Stockaded homestead of a Saxon chieftain
Generation Ten
Eaba who had a son, perhaps by marriage to a Kentish princess:


Generation Eleven
Ealhmund, Under-King of Kent from 784 to his death in 786.
Died in 786
    Ealhmund married a daughter of Æthelbert II who was King of Kent from 725 to 762; and who ruled Kent jointly with first with his brother Eadberht (725 - 748), and later with his half brother Alric and nephew Eardwulf.

Ealhmund and his wife (the daughter of Æthelbert II, King of Kent) had the following children:


Generation Twelve
Ecgbert IIIEcgbert III, King of Wessex & England from 802 to 839
Born about 775
Died on February 4, 839 and interred at Winchester Cathedral, England
   Ecgbert reigned from 802 to 839. In 800 at the decline of the power of King Brithric (786 - 802), Egbert was called by the voice of his countrymen to assume the Government of Wessex, and he subsequently succeeded in reducing all the Kingdoms of the Heptarchy under his sway. His reign, a long and glorious one, is memorable for the great victories he achieved over the Danes.

    Ecgbert married to Redburga (also Rædburh) about whom little is known.
Redburga is referred to as a "sister of the Frankish King" (George Andrews Moriarty: The Plantagenet Ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa, Salt Lake City, 1985, page 16)  However, this is unlikely because at the time of their marriage, Ecgbert was an Under-King of a small part of what is now England.  There would have been a huge gap in status between Ecgbert's family and that of the rulers of Western Europe. Perhaps she was an illegitimate relative of Charlemagne.

    Ecgbert and Redburga had the following children:


Armorial Bearings of the Saxon Kings of EnglandGeneration Thirteen
Æthelwulf, King of England from 839 to 856
Born about 800
Died on January 13, 858 and interred at Winchester Cathedral, England
     Æthelwulf reigned from 839 to 856 at which point he abdicated in favour of his son Æthelbald after returning from a lengthy pilgrimmage.  He was Under-king of Kent 825 - 839 and 856 - 858.  Renown for his military prowess, he reputedly defeated 350 viking ships.  He reduced taxation, endowed the Church, made lay lands inheritable, and provided systems of poor relief.

Æthelwulf married first circa 830 to Osburga, daughter of Oslac, Thane of Isle of Wight and "Pincerna Regis" or Grand Butler of England; called a descendant of Wihtgar, a nephew of Cerdic who ruled the Isle of Wight in the 6th century.  Æthelwulf and Osburga divorced in 853, before which time they had the following children:

    Æthelwulf married second on October 1,  856 at Verberie sur Oise, France to Princess Judith, daughter of Charles II "the Bald", King of the West Franks.  Judith was only about 13 years old at the time, and the marriage was really nothing more than a demonstration of alliance between Æthelwulf and Charles "the Bald".  Click on Princess Judith for her descent.
Armorial Bearings of Alfred the Great

Generation Fourteen
Alfred the Great, King of England from 871 to his death in 899
Born in 849 at Wantage, Berkshire
Died on October 28,  899 and interred at Hyde Abbey, Winchester
     Alfred prevented the Danish conquest of England, defeating them at Edington in 878 after a campaign of guerrila warfare. After his victory he allowed the Danes to keep their conquests in Mercia and East Anglia provided that Guthrum, their king, was converted to Christianity. Alfred built a navy of Warships to defend the south coast against further Danish invasions (885 - 886; 892 - 896) and protected Wessex with a chain of fortifications. He took London in 886, thereby gaining control of all England except the Danish areas.
 

Gunthrum Surrrenders
Alfred at the Witan
The Viking chief Gunthrum
surrendering to Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great, his son Edward and wife Ealhswith
at the Witan, or Assembly of the Wise.

Alfred married in 868 to Ealhswith, a Mercian noblewoman, daughter of Æthelred Mucil "the Great", Ealdorman of the Gainas and his wife Eadburgh of the Royal House of Mercia. This marriage revived the ties between Sessex and Mercia; and provided Alfred with a powerful ally north of the Thames.
Alfred and Ealhswith had the following children:


Generation Fifteen
Edward the Elder, King of England from 899 to his death in 924
Born in 869
Died on July 17, 924 at Farndon-on-Dee and interred at Winchester Cathedral, England
     Edward built upon the successes of his father Alfred and set about creating a new Kingdom of England.  He defeated the Danes in 918, taking East Anglia, and also conquered Mercia  in 918 and Northumbria in 920.

Edward married first to Ecgwyn (died circa 901) and they had the following children:

Edward married second to Ælflæda (died 920), a daughter of Æthelhelm, Ealdorman of Wiltshire and a granddaughter of Æthelred I, King of England 866 - 871.  Thus, Edward and Ælflæda were first cousins once removed.
Edward the Elder and Ælflæda had the following children: Edward and Ælflæda are also said to have had the following children: Edward married third to Eadgifu (Edgiva) a daughter of Sigehelm, Ealdorman of Kent and they had the following children:


Generation Sixteen
Edmund I the Elder, King of England from 939 to his death in 946
Born in 921
Died on May 26,  946 at Pucklechurch, Dorset and interred at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset
     Edmund defeated two Norse kings in Northumbria and also defeated the Britons in Strathclyde who had been supporting the Norsemen.  He then gave Strathclyde to King Malcolm I of Scotland in return for a treaty of alliance. This ensured a half century of peace between Scotland and Saxon England.
    Edmund was murdered by an outlaw named Leolf who stabbed him to death at a banquet to St.Augustine on May 26, 946 at Pucklechurch, Dorset.

Edmund married first to St. Ælfgifu (died in 944) and they had the following children:

Edmund married second to Æthelfæd of Domerham, a daughter of Ælfgar, Ealdorman of Wiltshire; but there don't seem to have been any children.
 

Generation Seventeen
Edgar the Peaceful, King of England from 959 to his death in 975
Born in 944
Died on  July 8,  975 at Winchester, England and interred at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset
     Edgar was the first King of a united England. He allowed his Danish subjects to retain Danish laws, he promoted a monastic revival and he encouraged trade by reforming the currency. Edgar improved defence by organising coastal naval patrols and a system for manning warships.

Edgar on the River Dee
Edgar the Peaceful
being rowed down the Dee.

Following his coronation, Edgar
was rowed from Chester
to the Minster of St. John
by eight tributary princes;
Kenneth of Scotland, 
Malcolm of Cumberland, 
Maccus of the Isles, 
and five Welsh princes.

Edgar married first circa 961 to Æthelfæda "the Fair", a daughter of Ordmaer, an Ealdorman and they had the following son: Edgar was associated with St. Wulfryth, Abbess of Wilton (circa 945 - 1000) and they had a daugher: Edgar married second in 964 to Ælfthryth (Elfrida), daughter of Ordgar, Ealdorman of Devonshire and his wife Wilfrith. Ælfthryth was the widow of Ethelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia.
Edgar and Ælfthryth had the following sons:


Generation Eighteen
Æthelred II the Unrede, King of England from 978 to 1016
Born about 968
Died on April 23, 1016 at London, and interred at St.Paul's Cathedral; but his tomb was lost when the old St Paul's was destroyed in the great fire of London.
    The name Æthelred means “noble council”, but a cynical 13th century pun suggested his name should have been “evil council” or “unrede” because he said to have participated in a plot to murder his half brother St. Edward the Martyr. However, he was only about 10 years old at the time, and it is diffiuclt to imagine how a child could have been a participant in such a heinous crime. Regardless, Æthelred’s name "the Unrede" stuck. The name "the Unready" was coined centuries later and is mistaken.
     Æthelred reigned from 979 to 1013, at which time he was temporarily deposed by King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark, who was never actually crowned King of England.  When Sweyn died on February 3, 1014, the Witan recalled Æthelred who then reigned until his death on April 23, 1016.

Æthelred married first about 985 to Elfreda (Ælfgifu), a daughter of either Æthelbert, an Ealdorman; or Thored, Ealdorman of York.  Æthelred and Elfreda (Ælfgifu) had the following children:


Æthelred may have married to Ælthelgife, a daughter of Egbert who is not shown in all genealogies.

Æthelred married on April 5, 1002 to Emma of Normandy Please click on Emma of Normandy for her descent and second marriage to King Canute.  Æthelred and Emma had the following children:

Generation Nineteen
Edmund II Ironside, King of England from April to November 1016
Born in 989
Died on November 30, 1016, and interred at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset
     Canute invaded England, and eventually negotiated with Edmund Ironside.  They agreed that Edmund was to rule Wessex and Canute was to rule the rest of England.  However, Edmund Ironside died on November 30, 1016; leaving Canute as sole ruler of England. Some sources claim he was murdered at the instigation of his brother-in-law Eadric, possibly while using the privy!
Edmund Ironside meets Canute
Edmund Ironside and Canute

Edmund Ironside and Canute were engaged in a bitter struggle for possession of English territory, and they agreed to partition the country between them in 1016.  After Edmund's death on November 30, 1016, Canute was proclaimed king of all England, which became a leading province a Scandinavian empire.  Canute proved a good king whose fairness and honesty exceeded that of any previous king.

    Canute had an enormous fleet and army, and after the death of Edmund, further resistance was unthinkable.  Canute, however, turned out to be a most welcome surprise for England.  He upheld the ideals of Edgar the Peaceful, ordered the English to obey Edgar's laws, and gave England a reign of national peace with honour excelling not only that of Edgar but of any previous English king.

Edmund married in 1015 to Ealdgyth, widow of Sigeferth, a Danish Thane who was killed in 1015. Ealdgyth may have been a daughter of Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, and is also said to be "of Welsh royal blood".  Ealdgyth's parentage is uncertain.
Edmund Ironside and  Ealdgyth had the following sons:


Generation Twenty
Edward the Exile
Born about 1016
Died in 1057
     Edward was also known as "Edward the Atheling" which means "Edward the Royal Prince" and as "Edward the Outlaw" because he was exiled or "outlawed".

    Edward married in Hungary to Agatha, who is said to have been a daughter of either:

    Various sources state that either Stephen, Ludolphe, Henry or Gavril are "accepted as being correct".  The only certain thing seems to be that his wife was Agatha, a noblewoman he met in Hungary.
Edward and Agatha had the following children:


Generation Twenty-one
St. Margaret the Exile
Born in 1045 in Hungary
Died on November 16, 1093 at Edinburgh Castle.  She was interred at Dunfermline Abbey, Fife, Scotland; but her remains were later removed to Escorial, Spain and her head Douai, France.

     St. Margaret arrived at the English court of Edward the Confessor in 1057. Ten years later she was in exile after William the Conqueror defeated Harold Godwineson at the Battle of Hastings. She fled to Scotland where she was married against her wishes to King Malcolm to whom she bore six sons and two daughters. St. Margaret was canonised 1250 and her feast day is November 16th.

St. Margaret married in 1068 to Malcolm III Cænnmor of Scotland, King of Scotland.

For the continuation of this line, click on St. Margaret the Exile.

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